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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Title: The Opposite of Loneliness
Author: Marina Keegan
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Scribner
Publish Date: April 8, 2014
Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "Marina Keegan's star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at theNew Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, "The Opposite of Loneliness," went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

Even though she was just twenty-two when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina's essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world."

My Two Cents:

"The Opposite of Loneliness" is a collection of fiction and non-fiction tales by Marina Keegan, a very promising young writer who tragically lost her life in a car accident. The title comes from an essay that she wrote where she talks about how all she wants in her life is to feel the opposite of lonely, a term which we really do not have a word for. That essay especially really sets the tone for this fantastic book.

As the foreword of this book says, when we lose a young person, we usually talk about their life in terms of possibilities of what amazing things they could have done had they just been able to live a little bit longer. Keegan definitely fits into that place. Even at such a young age, she was already a really amazing writer. She had been published in several big publications and seemed to turn out writing to make you think incredibly quickly. These stories are both warm, beautiful, and so many of them hit me right in the feels. 

I loved both the fiction and the non-fiction tales in this book. The fiction is really good. Keegan writes of things with such great detail that whether she's writing a story about people in college or people on submarines, it is as if she had really experienced what she was writing about. These are all-consuming stories. With as much as I liked the fiction stories, I really, really liked the non-fiction essays. Keegan wrote about herself and the people that she knew in such an amazing way. I especially liked the story about her mother and how she worried about Keegan's celiac disease. Yes, it sounds like a odd premise for a moving essay but you need to read to believe.

This would be a great pick for when you're looking for a book to make you ponder and reflect even after you shut the book.


  1. I thought this was a wonderful book. I don't read many short story collections or essays, but loved these.

  2. This sounds really interesting and how sad! I'll have to check this out....

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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